chinatown, manchester in sun by ben williams
Ben Williams

Chinatown, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Wedged between Mosley and Portland Streets, Manchester’s Chinatown a riot of colour and flavour; restaurants serving up Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese and Thai food jostle for attention at street level, with more places to eat, specialist groceries, karaoke bars and massage parlours occupying basements and upper floors. It’s always a fun place for dining out, and some of the city’s top kitchens are here. Every Mancunian has an opinion about the best restaurants in Chinatown.

If you’re looking for spice, the mighty Red Chilli gets a lot of love from foodies; it was one of the first to serve fiery Sichuan food in town. For Japanese, head for Yuzu – this restaurant doesn’t even serve sushi but is widely reckoned to be among the best in the city. Feast on homestyle rice and noodle dishes, and sample what may be the city’s best sake bar. Finally, Ho’s Bakery’s buns are not to be missed – honey buns, cream buns, coconut, and red bean buns, all pillowy soft in that way that only Chinese baking can be.

The small markets in Chinatown are a terrific resource for the home cook. Wing Fat, Woo Sang, and their competitors stock a broad selection of Chinese produce, including obscure greens you’ll never see in Tesco. The more adventurous can experiment with esoteric snacks like dried cuttlefish, day-glo pink panda-shaped biscuits, and squat doughy cakes filled with crushed peanuts.

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